Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

Napoleon Bonaparte

Did you know...

Napoleon Bonaparte was Italian? YES! He was born in Corsica in 1769. Napoleon's parents were both Italians and from nobility but no wealthy. They were descendants from an Italian family that last immigrated from Tuscany to Corsica in the 16th century when Corsica was ruled by the republic of Genova. The island was sold to the French shortly before Napoleon's birth in 1769 which is why the French claim that Napoleon was French!

Napoleon's father, Carlo Buonaparte, married Letizia Ramolino in 1764 and he went to college in Pisa. Napoleon attended school for nobles and then moved to cadet school in Paris. And the French military would never be the same!

At the age of 20 he was a lieutenant in the French Revolution and in 1796 he changed his name from Buonaparte with a 'u' to Bonaparte. So in 1804 in France, nobody knew that an Italian was crowned Emperor of France.

He was a military genius, who thought big and had an ego to match. Napoleon was exiled not once, but twice - first to Elba after a military defeat in 1814 and in 1815 to Saint Helena after another defeat (this time in Waterloo) while trying to make a comeback. His success and absolute power lasted less than twenty years.

He died in 1821 on Saint Helena, but this fascinating Italian's imprint on history will last forever!